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Whole-life sentences 'do not breach human rights'.

EUROPEAN judges have ruled whole-life sentences for Britain's most notorious killers are compatible with European law and do not breach their human rights.

The ruling affects infamous Welsh killers serving whole-life terms, including Peter Moore, John Cooper and Malcolm Green. It could also ensure April Jones' killer Mark Bridger remains behind bars for life.

In a previous judgment in July 2013, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had ruled UK domestic law was unclear on whether those serving whole-life terms can be released. It has previously said denying whole-lifers any hope of release was a breach of their human rights.

But in February of last year the Court of Appeal in the UK made clear prisoners serving whole-life terms could be released in cases where there are "exceptional grounds".

The Court of Appeal underlined the power given to the secretary of state to release a prisoner on licence if he is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist which justify the prisoner's release on compassionate grounds.

The ECHR said the Court of Appeal's clarification meant UK law is compatible with the European human rights laws.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 4, 2015
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